Finish Seams without a Serger: Sew a Neater Zig-Zag Finish

How to Sew a Neater Zig-Zag Finish (a part of the "Finish Seams without a Serger" series) stitchesandsunflowers.com

Finishing seams is a basic skill YOU can use to make your sewing professional without fancy equipment, or even a serger. This month I’m writing simple tutorials showing all my favorite ways to finish a seam without a serger.

So far in this series we’ve practiced 1) a French seam, 2) a false French seam, and 3) a clean finished seam.

Zig-Zag Finish

Today I’m sharing my take of one of the most common seam finishes: a simple zig-zag stitch.  I’ve noticed in my sewing that the zig-zag stitch can get sloppy. I’m sharing the steps I take to make sure my zig-zag stich stays neat. Although this finish is not as polished as the others I’ve shared, it comes in handy on curved seams such as an armhole or crotch seam.

The Tutorial

As with all new sewing techniques, I recommend practicing on scrap fabric before applying it to your garment. The extra step may take up some time, but it is worth it if it prevents mistakes later on (trust me, I know!).

Step one:

Sew a seam with a 5/8″ seam allowance.

Finish Seams without a Serger: How to Sew a Neater Zig-Zag Finish stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step two:

Line up the left edge of your presser foot with the seam and sew your zig-zag stitch.

Finish Seams without a Serger: How to Sew a Neater Zig-Zag Finish stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step three:

Trim the edge of the seam allowance as close as you can to the zig-zag stitch. Be careful not to cut into your stitches!

Finish Seams without a Serger: How to Sew a Neater Zig-Zag Finish stitchesandsunflowers.com

This one is so simple, it only takes three steps! The most important step is to line up the presser foot with SOMETHING when you sew the zig-zag stitches, so that seam isn’t swerving all over the place. Trimming the seam really helps it to look neater and leaves less fabric to fray.

How to Sew a Neater Zig-Zag Finish (a part of the "Finish Seams without a Serger" series) stitchesandsunflowers.com

+ A nice twist to this finishing technique is to press the seam open first and zig-zag the seam allowances separately so the seam can lay flat when it is finished.

Love, Jess

 

 

 

 

 

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